Friday, December 30th, 1859
Minutes of the December 23rd session were read.
The Society decides that in every private session, following the
reading of the minutes, the list containing the names of participants of
the preceding general session will be read, with an indication of the regular
members who have introduced them, and that an exhortation shall be
made to point out the inconveniences caused by persons strange to the
Society. Hence the list with the names of the attendees of the previous
session was read.
These are the newly admitted regular members, as from written request
and verbal report:
1st – Mr. Forbes from London, Engineer officer, who was introduced
on December 16th.
2nd – Mrs. Forbes, born Countess Passerini Corretesi, from
Florence, introduced on December 16th *
3 rd – Mr. Soive, a businessman from Paris, introduced on
December 23rd. ** 4th – Mr. Demange, a businessman from Paris, introduced on
Reading of three new letters requesting admission. Report and decision
adjourned to January 6th.
1st – Letter from Mr. Brion Dorgeval, with the answer sent to Mr.
Oscar Comettant, regarding an article from the latter published
in the Siècle (see January issue of the Review).
2nd – Letter received from Mr. Jobard, from Brussels, with fair
observations about the moral state of the spirits. He regrets the fact
that the adepts of Spiritism are generally designated by their initials.
He believes that more explicit indications would contribute to the
progress of the Science. As a consequence he invites all adepts to sign
their names, as he does himself (see the January issue).
This last observation from Mr. Jobard is strongly endorsed
by a large number of members, who authorize to mention their
names in all references related to them.
Mr. Allan Kardec states that the fear for what is going to
be said diminishes daily and that there are only a few people
these days that would be afraid of confessing their opinion about
Spiritism. The bad taste epithets given to them become ridiculous
common place, laughed at when so many people from the
elites associate their names to the Doctrine, and one can already
foresee the time when the force of opinion will impose silence to
sarcasm. However, it is one thing to have the courage of opinion in conversations and another thing is to cast their names publicly.
Among the persons who sustain the cause of Spiritism with
more energy there are many who don’t like to have their names
in evidence, for that very reason, rather than anything else. Such
scruples, which don’t imply lack of courage, must be respected.
When extraordinary facts take place anywhere it is understandable
that it would not be very pleasant to the persons involved
to become a target of public curiosity and bothered by the unwelcome.
We should undoubtedly be grateful to those who are
above such prejudices but we should not lightheartedly censor
those who have very legitimate reasons not to expose themselves.
1st – Questions addressed to St. Louis about the spirits who preside
over the flowers, regarding the communication received by
Mrs. B… An interesting explanation will be published on the
2nd – Other questions were framed about the spirit of the
3rd – Two spontaneous and simultaneous communications:
the first one by the Spirit of Truth, through Mr. Roze, with some
advices to the Society; the second, by Fénelon, through Ms. Huet.
Friday, January 6th, 1860
Minutes of the December 30th session were read.
The following were admitted as regular members after written requests
and verbal report:
1st – Mr. Ducastel, a property owner from Abbéville, introduced
on December 30th.
2nd – Mrs. Deslandes, from Paris, introduced on December 30th.
3rd – Mrs. Rakowska, from Paris, introduced on December 30th.
A request for admission was read.
Letter received from Mr. Poinsignon, from Paris, congratulating the
Society over the New Year’s celebration, and wishing it well for the propagation
A letter recently received from Mr. Demange, thanking for his admission.
He ensures the Society about his active cooperation.
Analysis of several issues related to the administrative business of the
1st – News received about D. Péra, a prior from Armilly who died
30 years ago. A study shall be carried out about that.
2nd – Letter from Mr. Lussiez, from Troyes, with judicious
reflections about the moralizing influence of Spiritism over the
3rd – Letter received from Mrs. P…, from Rouen, informing
to have received remarkable communications, as a medium, in
total agreement with The Spirits’ Book. Besides, the letter contains
reflections which indicate a very healthy appreciation of the
spiritist ideas from the part of the author.
4th – Letter received regarding Ms. Désirée Godu, a healing
medium from Hennebon. It is a known fact that Ms. Godu’s
work is that of devotion and pure philanthropy.
1st – Several questions addressed to St. Louis for clarification and
development of earlier communications.
2nd – Ms. Dubois, medium and regular member of the Society,
having received a communication from a spirit who calls himself Chateaubriand, requests clarification. Another spirit communicates
with that very name, refusing identification in the name of
God. Confesses his fraud, apologizes and gives curious information
about his life. Then, the true Chateaubriand gives a brief and
spontaneous communication, promising a more elaborated one
in due course.
Friday, January 13th, 1860
Reading of the minutes from the January 6th, session.
Reading of three new requests for membership. Analysis and report
adjourned to the January 20th session.
1st – Letter from Mr. Maurice, from Tell, Ardèche, reporting
extraordinary facts which took place in a house in Fons, near
Aubenas, and that somehow resemble those which happened in
2nd – Letter from Mr. Albert Ferdinand, from Beziers, reporting
three remarkable personal facts which demonstrate the physical
action that the spirits may exert upon certain mediums.
3rd – Letter from Mr. Crozet, from Havre, a corresponding
member of the Society, informing about a communication received
jointly with Mr. Sprenger, from a mockery spirit. That
spirit, a Navy captain deceased six months prior, explains with
remarkable accuracy and lucidity the tricks of the “besigue”
card game, indicating how the players may win or lose (to be
4th – The spirit of a dancer. Mr. and Mrs. Netz, members of
the Society, since some time now receive communications from
a spirit that shows up dancing constantly, that is, making a table
dance, following the perfectly recognizable rhythm of a polka, a mazurka, a square dance, a waltz in two or three tempos, etc. He
never wanted to write, only responding through raps. He even
said through such a means that he was Peruvian, native Indian,
deceased 56 years ago at the age of 35; that really enjoyed drinking
“spirits” when alive, and who now attends public balls where
he has a lot of fun. He never comes to communicate before 10 pm
and only on certain days. He says that he communicates through
Mrs. Netz but he cannot do it without the support of Mr. D…,
a medium of physical effects, thus he needs both present at the
same time. Therefore, Mr. D… had never attracted him to his
house and Mrs. Netz cannot do it if she is alone.
5th – Reading of a spontaneous communication sent by Mr.
Rabache, from Bordeaux, in continuation of those published under
the title “Family advices”.
6th – Mrs. Forbes reads three spontaneous communications
received by her husband about filial love, paternal love and patience.
Those communications, remarkable by their high morality
and simplicity of language, may be classified in the category
of intimate advices.
1st – The spirit from Castelnaudary was evoked, who had already
been evoked on December 9th. See the complete report under the
title “Story of a naughty spirit”.
2nd – Evocation of the dancer spirit. He does not wish to write
but raps the rhythm of several rhythms with the pencil, agitating
the medium’s arm in synchronism. St. Louis gives some explanations
about his character and confirms the preceding information.
3rd – Questions about the manifestations of Fons, near
Aubenas. The answer is that there is something truthful about
the facts, but they should not be accepted unconditionally and
that we should prevent against exaggeration above all.
4th – Evocation of D. Péra, prior of Armilly. He provides important
details about his situation and character.
5th – Two spontaneous communications: the first through
Mr. Roze, from a spirit named Estelle Riquier who had led an
unworthy life, failed her duties as a mother and wife; the second
through Mr. Forbes, containing advices about rage.
Friday, January 20th, 1860
Reading of the minutes of the January 13th session.
Following the written request and verbal reports, the following persons
are admitted as regular members:
1st – Mr. Kratzoff, from Saint Petersburg, introduced on January
2nd – Mr. Julien, from Belfort, High-Rhine, introduced on
3rd – Mr. Count Alexander Stenbock Fermor, from Saint
Petersburg, introduced on January 6th.
1st – Reading of a spontaneous communication received by
Mr. Pécheur, member of the Society.
2nd – New details about the dancer spirit. Mrs. Netz, writing
medium, having questioned another spirit, received more
information, among them the fact that he was very rich when
alive; that he died in a hunting accident, when completely alone.
Having questioned the dancer spirit about these facts and with
the support of the other medium, she obtained identical answers
through knocks. Behold, Mrs. Netz had not communicated the
first written answers to the other medium. On another hand, she is not the one operating as a medium now. Besides, she had formulated
the questions insidiously, possibly leading to adverse answers.
Hence there was independence of thoughts from one side
to the other, and the agreement of the answers is a characteristic
fact. Another equally curious fact is that the dancer’s favorite medium
one day was taken by involuntary movements in the streets,
making him walk rhythmically. If he wanted to resist he could
stop those movements but as long as he let go, his legs would follow
the flair of a dancer. It was nothing much ostensive, sufficient
to call other people’s attention. This leads to the understanding
that spirits of different orders and not so much well meaning, like
the spirit that just wanted to have fun, could produce more violent
movements over certain human bodies, similar to those seen
in the convulsive and jerky persons.
3rd – Report of a spontaneous communication from the spirit of
a living person, made by Mr. G…, a writing medium, given to him
personally. The spirit described circumstantial details completely ignored
by the medium, whose accuracy was verified. Mr. G… did
not know that person, having seen him only once during a visitation
and never again. He only knew his family name. Well, the spirit
also signed his name, perfectly correct. Such circumstance, added
to other indications of time and place given by the spirit, constitute
evidence of identity. Mr. Count de R… comments that such kind
of communications may sometimes entail some indiscretion, asking
if the person involved would be happy if aware of the conversation.
The following answers were given:
1 – If the communicating person came in spirit it was out of
their own will, considering that Mr. G… was not thinking of him
and did not call him;
2 – Once detached from the body the spirit has free-will, only
responding to what they wish to;
3 – In such a state the spirit is more sensible than in the waking
state, since the spirit sees the reach of things in a broader way.
If that spirit had seen any inconvenience in his words he would
not have said that;
4th – Reading of a communication from Lyon, addressed to
the Society, saying among other things:
“The transformation of humanity is prepared by the incarnation
of better spirits on Earth, those who will form a new generation,
dominated by the love of good; that the wicked people who
keep their eyes closed to the light will reincarnate with a new
phalanx of simple and ignorant spirits, sent by God to the works
of formation of a new world, inferior to planet Earth. They will
not be able to meet their brothers and sisters from Earth but only
after hard work through which they will then reach their level, after
this generation is passed, because the bad spirits will not have
the right to witness such beautiful transformation.”
Mr. Theubet observes that the communication apparently
blesses the principle of a backwards march, contrary to everything
that has been taught.
A long and profound discussion is then established. It can
be summarized as follows: The spirit may fall from the current
position but not with respect to the acquired knowledge and virtues.
The principle of non-retrogress must be understood from
the moral and intellectual standpoint, that is, the spirit cannot
lose what has already been acquired in intelligence and morality
and would not return to the state of spiritual infancy. In other
words, the spirit cannot become more ignorant or worse than before,
fact that does not preclude the spirit from incarnating in a
tougher and inferior position and among more ignorant spirits,
if deserved. A very inferior spirit who would reincarnate among
a civilized people would be out of place and would not be able
to keep up with his class. Returning to the savage in a new existence
such a spirit would only be recovering his own position,
which could have been left a bit too early, but the ideas acquired
during his passage among the enlightened people would not be lost. The same must happen to those individuals who are going
to support the formation of a new world. Finding out of place in
a better Earth they shall then move to a world compatible with
their moral state.
1st – A black person from the ship Constant is evoked; he had
already been evoked on September 30th, 1859. He gives new explanations
about the circumstances that followed his death.
2nd – Three spontaneous communications: the first from
Chateaubriand, through Mr. Roze; the second from Plato, through
Mr. Colin; the third from Charlet, through Mr. Didier junior, in
continuation of his work about the nature of the animals.
* The original shows December 23rd as the introduction date but the correct date is
December 16th, according to the respective minutes (see the January 1860 issue) – (NT).
** The original shows December 16th as the introduction date but the correct is December
23rd, according to the respective minutes (see the January 1860 issue) – (NT).